There's a goldmine of valuable precious metals and stones in the form of jewelry forgotten in pawn shops all over America. Instead of paying full price, it's possible to pay only half of the full retail price on jewelry found at pawn shops. Emeralds are actually quite valuable precious stones. They are also called the "stone of successful love", and many people believe that emeralds have unique and strong healing energies and metaphysical properties. As not everything found in pawn shops may be genuine, it's important to familiarize yourself with different methods used to identify authentic emerald stones. This article will focus on 3 common methods.

Look for the Right Type of Tiny Flaws and Irregularities

Authentic emerald stones are never perfect. You should always be able to see tiny flaws or irregularities in them from when they were formed by using a 10x loupe, which most pawn shops should be able to readily provide, and observing the emerald stones under bright light. Not all flaws and irregularities are indicative that the stones are authentic; however, you should look for small natural holes or tiny deep lines within the pavilion of the stones. Small cracks are also acceptable flaws that may be present. Some of these flaws may give the stones a cloudy appearance under the loupe. You should be wary of any emeralds that are flawless.

Keep an eye out for air bubbles as well because real emerald stones should not have any in them. In fact, air bubbles are a clear sign that the emerald stones are fake.

Display the Stones Under White Light for Fire

Fire is a common terminology used by gemologists to characterize the luster that is emitted by precious stones when they are placed under white light. For example, many precious stones, like diamonds, will emit the full spectrum of colors found in the rainbow when they are placed under white light. Surprisingly, unlike many other precious stones out there, emerald stones will not exhibit a good amount of fire. You should not be able to see a wide range of hues being emitted. Real emeralds will not have the same brilliancy as authentic diamonds.

Most pawn shops will have special white light emitting equipment in their store for examining precious stones. You can always ask to use the equipment already available. If not, there are many portable tools that you can buy online or at local jewelry stores to help you with your examination.

Run a File Against the Surface of the Emerald

Another good way to check whether the emeralds are authentic or not is to run a file against their surfaces. It's best to find an inconspicuous spot. If the file is able to run across the surfaces easily and smoothly, then there's a good chance that you have authentic emeralds in your possession. If the emeralds are fake, running a file across the surfaces should cause some damage – such as roughness or abrasions.

Since there is a possibility that running a file across the surfaces of the suspected precious stones may end up damaging them, it's important to speak with the pawn shop owners about your intentions before you proceed. You don't want to be held accountable for any damages should the emeralds be fake.


There are plenty of jewelry pieces that are simply collecting dust in pawn shops like Desert Jewelry Mart & Coins, and you'll be surprised at what a good deal you can get. Even if you are not interested in the entire jewelry piece, you can easily purchase the piece for the emeralds in the design. These emeralds can be removed from their original setting and be incorporated into other jewelry pieces.